Modular Training

Principal Protection; Lessons Learned was developed to support professional face-to-face training by qualified dignitary, executive or celebrity protection instructors. It is based on a modular training program comprised of unique topic areas developed to rapidly move competent students from the classroom to an operational level in a minimum amount of time. While certain topic areas are traditional “hands-on” reactive subjects such as personal defense, response to AOP, evasive driver training and firearms for protection personnel, the bulk of this program is designed to facilitate the delivery of protective services in a proactive mode. We focus on keeping the Protectee out of harm more so than learning how to fight our way out of a situation that has already been established and leveraged by an adversary. We learn from history.

If you would like to learn more about our unique training programs, or add us to your current training lineup, please supply your information on the “Contact” page. We are available to help you develop or deliver protection training according to your client’s needs.

A simple 3-day program might include modules relating to (times are flexible) :

I. Introduction (2.0 hours)


  1. Introduction of students and instructors

  2. Terminal exercise; an exercise designed to fail on a number of levels so that students can better understand the preventative aspects of the job.

  3. How Protection Works (the USSS model)

  4. Our Educational Philosophy (Prevention rather than response)

  5. Protective Mission Elements and Objectives

    1. Prevention of intentional injury

    2. Prevention of unintentional injury

    3. Prevention of medical emergency

    4. Prevention of abduction

    5. Prevention of embarrassment

  6. Types of Protective Roles

    1. Public Sector (Dignitary/PSD)

    2. Private Sector (Executive/Celebrity)

  7. Career path comparisons; observations and expectations

  8. Continuing education; Firearms training (where to go and how much)

  9. Continuing education; Offensive driver training (where to go and how much)

  10. Continuing education; Other recommended subjects

  11. Protective planning; “Deterrence” – the FLETC model

  12. Personal protection unit size and scope

  13. Scope of responsibility; organizational conflict

  14. Scope of responsibility; touching/moving others

  15. Scope of responsibility; displaying/handling weapons

  16. Professionalism; setting the standard

  17. Avoiding stereotypes; “What kind of person would kill…?”

  18. Historical perspectives; Tiberius and Gaius

  19. The Lessons of Antiquity; If you were Eglon’s bodyguard?

  20. Jael; the first female assassin

  21. Assassination of religious leaders through history

  22. The “Invincibles”

  23. Presidential Assassination in the US

    1. Lincoln (1865)

    2. Garfield (1881)

    3. McKinley (1901)

    4. Kennedy (1963)

  24. Assassination Attempts; Lessons learned

    1. Andrew Jackson

    2. Theodore Roosevelt

    3. FDR

    4. Harry Truman

    5. Gerald Ford (X2)

    6. Ronald Reagan

  25. Other Memorable Assassinations; Lessons learned

    1. Franz Ferdinand

    2. M. Gandhi

    3. I. Gandhi

    4. R. Gandhi

    5. Palme/Lindh

    6. Y. Rabin

    7. RFK

    8. Huey Long

    9. Bhutto

    10. Moscone/Milk

    11. Selena

    12. John Lennon

  26. Early Protectors

    1. Samurai/Ronin

    2. Praetorian Guard

    3. Vanrangian Guard

    4. Gardes Suisses

  27. Public Sector Programs

    1. USSS

    2. DSS

    3. USMS

    4. DoD/Capitol Police/PSWG

    5. Foreign protection agencies/ROE

  28. Private sector programs

CC. Our role as “Facilitators”

DD. Watching out for yourself!

EE. Q&A (Sample test questions).


II. Morning break; DT (.5/hour)


III. Advance Planning (1.5 hours)


  1. Why important?

    1. Getting in/around/out

    2. Knowing the venue

    3. Knowing the people

  2. “Concentric Rings” theory

  3. Elements of protective planning (awareness/avoidance/defense)

  4. Comprehensive protection strategies

  5. Planning for a trip

  6. Protection checklists

  7. Airports (commercial and G/A)

  8. Residences

  9. Hotels

  10. Restaurants

  11. Modes of travel

  12. Routes of travel

  13. Medical histories/HIPAA

  14. Joint operations; working with other teams

  15. Reporting formats/briefings

  16. deBecker’s “LADDER” concept

  17. Unexpected side-trips/impromptu visits

  18. “Security assessment 101”

  19. Thinking “3-D”

  20. Working with onsite personnel

  21. Identifying posts “Economy of Force”

  22. Interior route planning/communications

  23. Tech sweeps of occupied spaces

  24. Pre-arranging registration/payment

  25. Billeting the protection detail (OPSEC)

  26. Viewing the venue orthographically

  27.   Theatres and auditoriums

  28.   Official ceremonies

CC.  Protection during recreation

DD.  Protection on the waterfront

EE.  Commercial/industrial facility assessments

FF.   Setting up the event

GG.  Conducting advance briefings

HH.  Identification and credentials

II.     Media management

JJ.   Landing zones/emergency extraction

KK.  Familiarization with foreign weapons systems 

LL.   Online travel security/intelligence

MM. Sample exercise

OO.  Q&A


III. Defensive Tactics (.5/hr)


LUNCH (1 hour)


IV. IED Search Techniques (2 hours)


  1. Understanding cyclic patterns of terrorism

  2. Target types/frequency

  3. Statistics of attacks; bombs are #1

  4. The US Bomb Data Center

  5. History; black powder, nitro, dynamite, modern HE

  6. What the internet shows our kids

  7. Types of explosives (initiators, low, high)

  8. Commercial explosives recognition

  9. Military explosives recognition

  10. WMD and reality

  11. The terrorist’s arsenal

  12. DHS Stand-off chart

  13. Why make a bomb threat?

  14. Why use a bomb?

  15. Bombers vs. Hoaxers

  16. The Shaheed

  17. How bombs are made; “The basic circuit”

  18. Appearance and construction

  19. Handling bomb threat calls

  20. Evacuation considerations

  21. Letter/package bombs

  22. Organizing/training search teams

  23. “Pre-Search” bomb assessments of venues

  24. BATF recommended search techniques

  25. Searching vehicles

  26. Searching aircraft

  27. Practical exercise

    1. Room search

    2. Vehicle search (Graded exercise)


V. Defensive Tactics; continued (.5/hr)


VI. Detail Planning and Formations (2 hours)


  1. Determining “appropriateness”

  2. Warning; Nobody wants you

  3. Protective functions

    1. Principal/Protectee

    2. Personal Security Officer (DL/SAIC/OIC)

    3. Checkpoints/Posts

    4. Surveillance/Counter-surveillance

    5. Intelligence

    6. Special assignment

    7. Command post

    8. Technical

    9. Advance agent

    10. Project agent

  4. Coverage

    1. Direct

    2. Indirect

  5. Concentric Rings Theory (again)

  6. Movement considerations

    1. “Arms reach”

    2. Sound off-cover-evacuate

    3. Closest agent rule

  7. Attack recognition and response

  8. Being ready and alert; keeping the hands up

  9. The “Diamond” formation; theory

  10. Fluidity and flexibility

  11. Detail formations

    1. 1,2,3,4,5,6 agent with/without guests

    2. Compression when entering corridors

    3. Adjusting for the venue and route

    4. Working receiving/rope lines

    5. The “3-foot” rule

    6. Defensive circle/Cave-in

    7. Movement around corners/obstacles

    8. Stairwells

    9. Elevators (US and foreign)

    10. Use of the “Zone defense”

    11. Auditorium (seated)

    12. Auditorium (presenting)

    13. Aircraft seating (commercial/GA)

    14. The “drop” (off-side/onside)

    15. Formations and movement around vehicles

    16. Lead car/follow car arrivals (1,2,3,4 car packages)

    17. Signals (slow-roll, abort, all-clear etc)

    18. Arrival/staging/alighting/debussing the package

    19. Managing double-door vestibules

    20. Returning to the vehicles from the venue

    21. Protection at sea

  12. “Sound-off” exercise

  13. AOP video presentations

  14. Crowd dynamics; recognizing the “odd-man-out”

  15. The Eckman study

  16. Fundamentals of crowd dynamics

  17. Photographic analysis exercise

  18. Applicable law enforcement statutes

  19. Q&A


VII. Homework Assignment (Advance assessment on your residence)





I. Review of Day 1; Q&A (.5/hr)


II. Threat Assessment/Protective Intelligence (3.5 hours)

  1. Principles of threat assessment

  2. Method and process; dealing with humans

  3. Workplace violence/semantics

  4. OSHA and the safe workplace

  5. Columbine; a threat model

  6. Meloy’s behavior observations

    1. Predatory

    2. Affective

  7. Targeted vs. Non-specific violence

  8. Threat assessment process and management (USSS)

  9. The targeted violence process

  10. Identifying violence phases

  11. Intervention strategies

    1. Continued/enhanced monitoring

    2. Detention/arrest of the attacker

    3. Neutralization by force

    4. Removal of Protectee

    5. Alternative to violence

    6. Strengthen security of Protectee

    7. “Transference” issues

  12. Inductive vs. Deductive assessment strategies

  13. The Exceptional Case Study Project (USSS, 1998)

  14. Recognition of attack indicators; George Sodini case (2009)

  15. Categories of threats

  16. Determining levels of risk

  17. Understanding the risk/phase relationship

  18. Inappropriate correspondence (ICC) analysis; Schuy method

  19. deBecker’s “JACA”

  20. Types of stalkers

  21. Stalker motivation

  22. Personality disorders

  23. Relevant law enforcement statutes

  24. Protective intelligence defined (Oatman)

  25. Sources of useful intelligence

  26. The intelligence process

  27. Tactical vs. Strategic intelligence

  28. Attack predictors

CC. Analyzing the Protectee’s visible organization

DD. COMSEC’s role in threat management

EE. The “two-edged” sword of information collection

FF. OPSEC for protection personnel

GG. Threat assessment practical exercises


LUNCH (1 Hour)


III. Defensive Tactics (.5/hr)


IV. Etiquette and Equipment (1 Hour)

  1. Determining socially accepted behavior; preventing embarrassment

  2. Etiquette and protocol considerations

  3. Addressing government officials

  4. Addressing military personnel

  5. Addressing royalty

  6. Addressing clergy

  7. Protocol for official events

  8. Understanding a campaign organization

  9. Business attire (male and female)

  10. Formal attire (male and female)

  11. Dining rules at formal events

  12. Adapting for sport and leisure

  13. Concealment gear and armor

  14. “Gearing down”          


V. Medical Emergency Recognition and Response (1 hour)


  1. Understanding the EMS system

  2. The protection agent’s role in medical emergencies

  3. Legal obligations of professional rescuers

  4. Necessary personal characteristics

  5. Preventing disease transmission

  6. Types of common communicable diseases

  7. OSHA regulations relating to health

  8. Emergency action principles

  9. Handling breathing emergencies

  10. Recognition/care for heart attack

  11. Assisting with oxygen or prescribed meds

  12. Trauma injuries

  13. Bumps and sprains

  14. Assembling a first aid kit

  15. Q&A


VI. Defensive Tactics (.5/hr)


VII. Command Post Operations (1 hour)

  1. A quick word about the ICS

  2. Types of command posts

  3. COC facility needs

  4. Command post operations and planning

  5. Communications systems

  6. Credentials and identification

  7. Protection “pins”

  8. Managing special events

  9. Special event exercise

  10. Q&A


VII. Homework Assignment (Advancing tomorrow’s mission)





I. Review of Day 2; Q&A  (.5/hr)


II. Motorcade Planning and Operations (3.0 Hours)

  1. DT skills testing is done rotational; two students at a time

  2. Two and three vehicle packages on track or in traffic


III. Written examination (.5/hr)


LUNCH (1 Hour//can be used to complete assignment)


III. Practical Exercise (4 Hours)


Students are divided into teams and given assignments to advance. They select their own leadership and team assignments. If complex advances are used, the assignments are actually provided the night before. Students are required to:


1)    Present a viable team appropriate to the assignment

2)    Conduct an effective advance briefing

3)    Identify primary and alternate routes

4)    Run the mission

5)    Self-critique